Volitans Software

Unacceptable: New App Store Subscription Rules

Apple announced new subscription rules for apps that deal with content downloads (books, magazines, and newspapers). They require apps that want to offer in-app purchases to use Apple’s system, which has a cut of 30%, regardless if there is a website that the content can be purchased. And not only that, they require the prices be the same in both areas. I find this quite egregious. The payment required by Apple would heavily cut into publishers profits- maybe making it completely unprofitable. Those publishers then would have no incentive to allow in-app purchases on iOS devices. That is bad for users. Yes, Apple’s UI for purchases is great, but if there isn’t anything to buy, what’s the point. Marco makes some similar points in his article.

I see two ways this can be fixed. First, I agree with The Outsider, allow apps to charge more on iOS devices. Sorry, but if Apple wants its cut, that money has to come from somewhere, and that has to be the user. This is no different than buying Coke’s at DisneyLand- its more expensive because of Disney.

A second way would be to change the structure and prices. Normal in-app purchase for content that is ONLY to be used on iOS devices (ie think new levels for a game) is 30%. Apps that allow content to be used on multiple non-IOS devices (such as magazine subscriptions and e-book), MUST charge $10 or more for the app, but in-app purchases are only 5-10%. Remember- since Apple controls the store, they can enforce these rules.

I much prefer the second option, but either will do to solve this mess.